May 25, 2008

The Stupidity Of Judicial Elections
12:00 AM

Adam Liptak has a nice piece in today's New York Times taking a look at the practice of electing judges, which is common at the state level in the U.S. but almost unheard-of abroad. Liptak's basic conclusion is that most people seem to think judicial elections are a bad idea, since very few voters are in a position to assess the relative merits of the candidates. Alex Tabarrok also notes that one effect of judicial elections is to put out-of-state parties at a major disadvantage in cases in state courts.

May 23, 2008

Does Lieberman-warner Have A Prayer?
12:00 AM

Sometime in early June, the Lieberman-Warner climate bill—which would aim to cut U.S. carbon emissions 66 percent by 2050 via cap and trade—will finally hit the Senate floor. Whether it survives or not is anyone's guess, but here's Keith Johnson's write-up of a recent hearing on the bill's price tag: One takeaway: Lieberman-Warner can cut a big chunk of U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions without killing the economy.

Did She Really Say That?
12:00 AM

Hillary Clinton today: "My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it," she said, dismissing calls to drop out. An interesting argument. The first part of it been addressed before. The second part...well, that's a new one. Incidentally, on the subject of California, the Los Angeles Times has the first poll on the ballot initiative to overturn the state Supreme Court's gay marriage decision.

A Good Example Of Rational Ignorance
12:00 AM

Whenever political scientists want to demonstrate how little the public knows about politics, one of the statistics they're fond of pulling out is that more than half of Americans can't name any Supreme Court justice.

Obama Does Boca
12:00 AM

LAT:  Obama arrived at Congregation B'nai Torah to sustained applause, and several people wore buttons with his name in Hebrew. But some tensions quickly emerged. The first questioner praised Obama, then noted that a friend had said: "If Barack Obama would change his name to Barry, I would vote for him." Obama replied that as a child he was nicknamed Barry. He is named after his Kenyan father, and as a young man he chose to use his full first name to acknowledge his heritage. "Let's be honest, part of what raises concerns is you've got a black guy named Barack Obama," he said.

May 22, 2008

Fuzzy Math
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--Hillary Clinton is talking as if the battle over seating disputed delegations from Florida and Michigan at the Democratic National Convention is the greatest crisis for democracy since the 2000 Florida recount. Her rhetoric flies in the face of intensive efforts by members of the party's rules committee to settle the delegate battle with a compromise that would likely guarantee the nomination for Barack Obama.

Photo Of The Day
12:00 AM

Housewives of amateur hula dancers group 'Obama Girls' shout 'Yes we can!' during a rally to support US Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama in Japan's city of Obama, Fukui prefecture, on May 21, 2008 after Obama declared he was 'within reach' of the nomination in the Democratic White House race. Some 150 local residents took part in the rally. (TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images) --Michael Crowley

May 21, 2008

Flashbulb Tyranny
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--Telma Ortiz, the sister of Spain's future queen, caused a commotion recently by seeking a restraining order that would have barred more than 50 media outlets from taking pictures of her except in public functions. She asked the court to protect her right to privacy, claiming that she is not a public person--just the sister of Princess Letizia, a commoner who married the heir to the throne in 2004. The case has gained international attention not least because celebrities who are constantly at war with paparazzi were hoping for a precedent. But the Spanish court ruled against Ortiz.

The Autopsy Report
12:00 AM

Tuesday's results replicated much of the Democratic race during the last two months. Hillary Clinton once more showed her strength and Barack Obama's weakness among white working class voters in Midwestern swing states, while Obama proved his hold on young and college-educated voters in states where a new post-industrial economy has developed, and where college-educated voters make up about half of the Democratic electorate. For Obama, the question will be how to capture enough of these white working class voters in November to defeat Republican John McCain.

Obama And Those Meetings
12:00 AM

Barron flags this ABC piece about the Obama campaign's refinement of its dictator-meeting position: Asked about Obama's original statement Tuesday morning on CNN, former Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., a top Obama adviser and supporter, said top-level meetings would not be immediate -- and would not happen without preliminary extensive diplomatic work. "I would not say that we would meet unconditionally," said Daschle. "Of course, there are conditions that we [would] involve in preparation in getting ready for the diplomacy. ...